Shed of the Week: Jaguar X-Type

Normally, Mrs Shed loves a Jag. That's unusual because, in Shed's experience, she doesn't normally love anything. Well, unless your definition of normal loving involves a witch's hat, a blacksmith's hammer and some strawberry jam.

But will she love a Jag that's not a Jag? Obviously, this X-Type is a Jag, but hang on a minute. Where's the leather upholstery? What kind of weird alloys are they? Why is it not 4WD, like other X-Types? And what's that engine - a 2.1 V6? Where did that come from?

As we know, the X-Type is often compared to the Mondeo with which it was co-developed. That said, many of the under-skin features it is supposed to share with the Ford actually exist mainly in the minds of those who despise what they see as a class-lowering connection between Ford and Jaguar. So let's just move on from there and look at the X-Type's pros and cons as a car in its own right, rather than as some sort of bastard child of an illicit union.

The X-Type's strong points are comfort, refinement and, admittedly to a lesser extent relative to the big cats, its Jaguarness. Its negatives are a cramped rear, a reputation for mechanical/electrical trouble, and fuel consumption numbers which aren't that great for the performance available. That last one applies mainly to the petrol V6s.

Which brings us to this mysterious 2.1 V6. It wasn't that mysterious, really: it was part of the X-Type offering for the whole lifecycle of the model, from 2002 to 2009 - but how many 2.1s have you seen? Not many, we'll wager. That's because a performance/economy disconnect made the pov-spec 2.1 X-Type something of a left-field choice for both business and personal users.

Compared to the other two X-Type V6s - the 231hp 3.0 and the 195hp 2.5 - the 2.1 delivered an official average economy figure of 30.7mpg that wasn't massively or even significantly better than those of its beefier brothers. That's because the 2.1 weighed in at 1,450kg and had a very oversquare engine (82x67) that didn't produce its peak torque of 148ft lb until 4,100rpm. You had to wait for another 2,700rpm to elapse before the arrival of the 157hp peak power. The manual 2.1 (which this is) had a quoted 0-60 time of 8.9sec and top speed of 130mph, while the less desirable 1,485kg automatic (which this isn't) gave you 10.4sec for the 0-60 and a 3mph lower top end.

The MOT on this car runs to September. It failed last year only on a cut rear tyre. Inner edge wear on the fronts was also reported at the time, indicating the need for tracking work which may even have been carried out since. Corrosion to the o/s rear suspension mount and brake pipe was reported and fixed in 2017, otherwise the dreaded R-word is conspicuous by its absence.

What about the lit EM light and very slight occasional misfire? Engine management warning lights are swines, in Shed's experience. They often pipe up for no apparent reason. Even while he was dictating this piece, he was interrupted by a phone call from a chap thanking him for sorting out his Mitsubishi Evo 8 which had been suffering from this very problem. Turns out the chap spends most of his life in the States, coming back just once a year to sort out his UK affairs (none of them with Mrs Shed, sadly). Like an old nag eking out its final years before that last trip to the glue factory, the Evo had been left outside to gather leaves, pigeon poo, rust and other products of nature. Shed gave it a whang up and down the local dual carriageway, duly extinguishing the light and generating a tidy invoice for several hours of complex-sounding diagnostic and computerish stuff. Which is quite funny as the only computer Shed allows in his house (and is still using for invoice printing) is a 512Kb Amstrad PCW1512 from the late 1980s.

And the X-Type misfire? Well, there could be a few possible causes for that. Generically, it might be a faulty mass air flow sensor or a dirty throttle body. More specific to the X-Type, it could be a split on the underside of the breather hose that runs from the cambox cover to the inlet manifold. None of these would be much of a hassle to sort. MAF sensors for this engine start at £15, throttle body cleaner is even cheaper, and how much can a hose be?

If none of these fixes work, you might trundle down to your local grease monkey. If he plugs his diagnostic tool into the car and tells you that all the sensors are saying everything's OK, so it must be an ECU problem, feel free to raise your right eyebrow quizzically and ask him if it might possibly be something to do with a collapsed or in some way restricted cat on one engine bank. It's an occasional problem with this engine.

If you can't be bothered with any of the above, complete and functioning 2.1 engines regularly appear at auction sites and scrap yards for less than £200, although there will be a small fitting charge on top of that ha ha. Shed is only mentioning this in the context of the price for this car, which is set at a temptingly low £600. If you get away with one of the cheap fixes mentioned above, you can have yourself a clean looking, apparently rust-free and eminently cruisable 2004 Jag with working aircon, a rear parking camera, no MOT worries - and blue cloth seats. Not ideal for spilling strawberry jam on, but you can't have everything.

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Comments (126) Join the discussion on the forum

  • HumanSteamroller 03 May 2019

    Gosh, £600? Even with the issues, I'd be tempted...

  • Billy_Whizzzz 03 May 2019

    UKIP’ers special. No thanks.

  • Cambs_Stuart 03 May 2019

    It's a bargain for £600, but not for me. I'd rather go for pretty much any of the other sheds featured so far this year over this.

  • hammo19 03 May 2019

    Paint match looks a bit strange too....

  • coppice 03 May 2019

    I always had a soft spot for these - even though Jags are not my thing . At all....

    It's an underdog thing - all the smartarse, freeloading press lads sneered at the baby Jag because it had Mondeo underpinnings and this , despite the fact that the same journalists had lauded the Mondeo for years .

    And although there is a whiff of UKIP and Bognor about them , they did seem to attract devoted owners , who were very proud to own a Jagwah when the height of their ambition before had been a Vectra . I have never seen a dirty X Type , and even if I smile at the statutory Panama hat on the parcel shelf and St George's flag in the plates , it is quintessentially English , the national persona made metal. .

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